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North Korea conducts 6th nuclear tests, claims it has developed hydrogen bomb

North Korea conducts 6th nuclear tests, claims it has developed hydrogen bomb

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test, the Japanese government said on Sunday, after an quake was detected near the site where the reclusive nation has previously detonated nuclear explosions.

"The sixth nuke test indicates that North Korea is pushing for dealing with the U.S. on equal footing after securing a nuclear status", said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies.

The USGS reported the tremor as a 6.3 magnitude, while China's natural disaster administration also said it detected a 6.3 magnitude quake in northeastern North Korea, calling it a "suspected explosion", Reuters reported.

According to Pyongyang's state media Korean Central News Agency, Kim Jong Un inspected the loading of a "homemade" hydrogen bomb onto the ICBM at North's Nuclear Weapons Institute.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the event on Sunday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered the pursuit of the most powerful sanctions on North Korea with the global community.

Yukiya Amano added: "This new test, which follows the two tests previous year and is the sixth since 2006, is in complete disregard of the repeated demands of the worldwide community".

The weapons tests include flight-testing developmental ICBMs and recently flying a ballistic missile over Japan as it bids to obtain a nuclear-armed missile.

South Korea's presidential office immediately convened a National Security Council meeting on the issue.

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"Our country lodge a strict protest against North Korea and condemns it in the strongest words", Abe said.

It came as US and South Korean forces were nearing the end of the 10-day annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint exercises, which the North regards as a rehearsal for invasion.

"South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!"

It has since tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July and last month, fired a potentially nuclear-capable missile over northern Japan.

The hydrogen bomb's power is adjustable to hundreds of kilotons and can be detonated at high altitudes, with its indigenously produced components allowing the country to build as many nuclear weapons as it wants, the North's official KCNA news agency said.

South Korea's military said earlier Sunday that North Korea is believed to have conducted its sixth nuclear test after it picked up seismic waves measuring 5.6.

Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told AFP the latest KCNA report "carries a strategic message" that Pyongyang "will push for a nuclear face-off with the U.S. as an equal".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The statement was enough to raise concerns in Washington, Japan and the Korean Peninsula about the state of North Korea's nuclear arsenal.


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